Sep
2017

New York City September 2017

Walking in New York City 

 I decided I would go to N.Y.C again as I had been inspired by an Australian women I met on a walking weekend in Keswick. She had told me how you could now walk miles along the Hudson River, as the area has been redeveloped. She recommended The Jane Hotel  which has quite a history. In 1912, the survivors of the Titanic stayed at the hotel until the end of the American Inquiry into the ship’s sinking.

I tend to write about the here & now, but click on the link below to read more about the history of The Jane.

 

Reception area The Jane.

http://www.thejanenyc.com/history/

Really love this pic looking out towards Ellis Island from the Hudson river near The Jane.

 

Situated right on the embankment of the Hudson river. It is  near where the old meatpacking district used to be and borders on the Chelsea area. Now a trendy area full of bars and shops. If I had to compare it with an area in London, it would be Belgravia around the back of Victoria. Neat little town houses (at a Grand Price) and very good restaurants & cafe’s. The Mole restaurant was my favourite, a Mexican place with fantastic food & drinks.

BACK in 1986 As I have mentioned in previous blogs I travelled alone to NYC on a budget. I was 25 with 700 dollars and  stayed for a month in a hostel in Harlem which the locals nicknamed the Whitehouse!  

In 1986 it cost $3 a night.This gave me ample opportunity to explore the city from The Bronx to New Jersey I got around, and even spent a night in a children’s summer camp as a volunteer, at the time my ambitions were more rock & roll than saving the world, I decided against the job they were offering me as a secretary and  towards the end of the month I tried to sell my ticket to go on a road trip to L.A but it wasn’t to be. End of trip.

Taken from boat going to Staten Island.

 

Visiting in September 2017  On a 7 night stay I could have done with more comfort . The rooms were functional two bunk beds with draws underneath. So hot you had to have the air con on all night. A tiny window with black meshing on, so when you wake up  you don’t know if it’s day or night! Cabin Fever indeed. Not somewhere to spend more time than necessary. Of course if I were richer, the Captain’s Cabin may have suited. See the website for further details.

https://www.thejanenyc.com/rooms/captains-cabin/

Looking out of Subway window as we go overground to Coney Island Brooklyn

 

We walked 70 miles over 7 days walking on average 10 miles a day. We walked from Harlem to 5th Avenue Central park one day, as I attempted to revisit the hostel in St Nicholas Avenue 345th street. Just curiosity. Like re- visiting your home town, nothing looks quite the same. Nothing is the same, nor ever will be! 

I really enjoyed visiting and seeing it all again, but I did find it hard work at times. It’s a fierce city and was extremely hot every day and this was September. Underground was unbearable. I’m not mad about travelling underground at the best of times, but they don’t seem to have air conditioning in the stations. Madness,I say…

I’m more of an Autumn girl at heart and find the intense heat doesn’t agree with me.. On a pure vanity note, I wilt and my skin and hair cannot deal with it.. I’m not a summer flower that’s a fact.

Fresh water melon at at shop under Brighton Beach Subway.

Cops at Diner Williamsburg

We got to know the area of Williamsburg finding a little venue there called the Union Pool,that had a great DJ and a music venue tucked inside for live bands.http://www.union-pool.com/listing/

As well the area had a couple of small craft bars one of which we visited aptly name Beer Bar. Craft Beer is everywhere in NYC, slightly ahead of the UK where it is just taking off.

Coney Island, Freak Show no longer there.

 

We visited the Russian Brighton Beach area twice as it was hot enough to swim sunbathe and enjoyed Tatiana’ a Russian Restaurant & at times a bit of a blast of  Russian singing;Great food & service. Generally the food was great everywhere we went.

CATS FOR SALE

Abandoned cats for sale in Union Square all with a story to tell.

 

We came across these cats in Union Square 14th Street, it was sort of nearish to where we were staying so we were getting off from a trip to Coney Island, from there to 14th /Jane Street. They looked so well looked after and all the cages had little notes attached with stories written of where the cats were found, mainly in places like The Bronx, some with missing feet, or legs. So sad, but very encouraging to see The New Yorker’s getting organised and raising the cats.

We had noticed previously in the area we were staying we didn’t see any cats. Everybody had dogs, and every morning the residents walked the dogs round the blocks, often having 2-3 or more dogs. I can’t imagine the dogs really get enough exercise living in N.Y.C, apart from Central Park they don’t really have many proper parks, only tiny garden/squares. Not really a place for animals.

MASK from American Indian Art taken at The Met

American Indian Mask from the Met.

 

The American Indian art at the MET NYC was something I wanted to see again. I had bought a book from there when I first visited years ago and there was a print /design I wanted to screen print onto a tee-shirt to sell. My original copy got damaged in a flood, My basement was 3 foot high in water and a lot of my personal belongings, such as photographs, books etc, were stored in a trunk & were too damaged to keep.

I was hoping to pick up another copy. Unfortunately it was not available at The MET shop but as I recognise this exact mask image shown above from my original book, which was in the MET shop, I have a hunch it’s out there somewhere.

Home and thinking about my next walks

My next walk is going to be next Saturday down the coast possibly Rye to Hastings. Down the coast at least. I have sort of dropped out of my walking group a bit but intend to pick up with them again in The Autumn.

PLEASE see my UP & COMING WALK PAGE for a selection of walks.

Until Next time, Keep on Keeping on. It’s all you can do.

Aug
2017

I can’t explain my feet comes full circle!

The Best of 20162017

FEBRUARY 2016 ‘STATES OF MIND- Lack of housing in London,walking from Kennington to Downing Street & a visit to the Wellcome Institute

APRIL 2016 A WEEKEND with the UK Explorers’,taking time out to meet a new group.

JULY 2016 LET ENGLAND SHAKE 

 The Eden Project  I would like to dedicate this post to my friend from Cornwall. Keith Richards who passed away unexpectedly w/end of July 28th 2017. The last time I saw him was at this gig.

Let England Shake  PJ HARVEY

I met Keith in London in the early 80’s both of us were on some Government Back to Work Scheme; He was learning accountancy and I was learning Industrial sewing; neither of us continued in these trades, but we became friends as we had a shared interest in bands like The Fall and The Damned!  He had a good sense of humour & an appreciation of the ‘Dark Side’, When he moved back to Cornwall he kindly put me up on my many visits. He gave me the opportunity to really get to know Cornwall.

I loved walking around Landsend, Sennen Cove and Penzance area. His brother-in-law managed the stunning Minack Theatre. https://www.minack.com

  Keith was a real fun guy unfortunately Chron’s disease finally got him. RIP Keith.

2017

FEBRUARY 2017

I managed to persuade a South Bank member ( who I had made friends with some years ago ) get up early on a Saturday morning and head to Lewes for a walk to Glynde it was snowing & freezing.( I wonder why I haven’t heard from her since!)

MARCH 2017

Spent a bit of time around Lewes /Berwick/ Glynde area trying to get to know it better.  I am now loaded with real maps and online maps and better prepared than ever, the only thing lacking is time.

April 2017

Taking a breather. Back in my home town again.. Great pics. A brief reunion with very old friend in Newcastle. We will meet again New Year’s Eve.

Then a lot of walking along coast of South Shields and in Newcastle.

May 2017

As I have done for the last 4 years My old familiar walk along the Seven Sisters from Seaford I have been leading every year. I do  love this walk and will continue to do this or a variation of this every year but I want to add a couple of more routes to my repertoire. I will get down to the Kent/Sussex Coast in the Autumn before the year is through. I need to try the Rye- Hastings route.

WHERE NOW?

I’m going to NYC in September and haven’t visited there since 1986, at that time I stayed in Harlem for a month,the hostel cost me $3 a night, it was the best time ever I loved it.

This time I’m sharing the experience & staying at The Jane near the ‘meatpacking’ industry and I’m prepared to have my eyes opened again. I will be doing a lot of walking.

NYC should be a good jumping off point in terms of looking at the bigger picture and making long sought after changes.

Until then

keep on keeping on.

 

 

Jul
2017

Happy Birthday I can’t explain my Feet -Best posts 2014-2015

Best Walks of 20142015

 As promised this month it is the best walk/blogs of 2014-2015. It’s difficult to pick the best walks, or the best blogs;or even the best pictures, but did manage to select a few.  All walks are archived, so can be accessed by month and date on the right hand side.

My favourites of 2014

February 2014 Westgate to Margate…

A familiar stroll – See archives for more stories and pictures.

MARGATE BEACH FEBRUARY 2014

 

May 2014 Urban Landscape

One of my favourite off the cuff walks.

The entrance to the Wharf has a varied display of street art, sculpture & murals.

A musical tide chimer….

July 2014 Photography in Posts

Walking the cliffs of Dover.

Wild flowers on cliff top Dover

Photography is another tricky art form, depending on what camera you use will determine whether you can size them up all the same. After a lot of experimenting with different cameras, I realised the convenience of an I phone is sufficient but a portable recharger and an old I Phone is needed. One phone just for pictures the other for maps on very long walks. Occasionally I like to use a 35 mm camera. 

SEPTEMBER 2014 – TWO WALKS- SUSSEX & THORNEY ISLAND

Rolling rollin rollin

Bales of Hay in Sussex

 

Thorney Island

Thorny Island looking out to sea

 

Broken up at sea…

 

My favourites of 2015

Rambling on is a way of describing someone who is talking a lot from one subject to the next, not necessarily coherently, or accurately but often; hopefully entertaining.

March 2015 Mad as the Mist and Snow 

Is one of my favourite blogs, I am writing about what I like and not just a description of a walk I have been on. Although in the main most of the blogs are about walks, my rambles can include anything along the way.  I can ramble on or go for a ramble. Two bonus audio tracks included in this one.

April Oh April

I love these photos taken at Peckham Rye Station with a 33 mm camera, they look picturesque.  I just love open spaces and railway lines.  April is always a good time to get out walking .

April  2015, spent a lot of time walking about London along the river. I have some of the best days doing this.

 

Greenwich meantime clock

Keeping an eye on the time walking from Blackheath to Greenwich

 

July 2015 -Cudham Circular

Watch your head!

A great day of surprises,including this bird of prey we encountered en-route. We then visited a fantastic a wild garden, opened for public viewing. Well worth reading about. An inspirational garden, meeting the owners was a real bonus. Walk led by Judith Robertson.

August 2015 Berwick to Seaford

 A day of fantastic weather.

 

May, June & July are great for walking .

It can get a bit hot- so watch out for that, walking in the outdoors, & getting dehydrated. No shops here.!

 

September 2015 A perfect day

Walking from Chesham to Missenden. 

 

BIG SKY BEAUTIFUL DAY

 

October 2015 Belfast

I had lived in Galway and travelled quite a bit in The Republic of Ireland. I did a degree in Humanities as a mature student and chose Irish Studies as my main subject.

Up until October 2015  I had never visited Belfast and thought it was about time I did. I cried on the tour bus going through the Sectarian area of West Belfast in the Falls Road area. See October 2015 archives for full article.

The Flag is everywhere in Belfast.

 

People travel from afar to see The Giants Causeway County Antrim

 

November 2015 Meet Up Groups

I was  connecting with meet up Groups, including Word Press who have given me this platform to design and write my monthly blog. Fantastic tool, & inspiring creative people. Also teamed up with UK Explorer a new walking group. See blog for further details.

December 2015 Dirty Boots South Shields

 I love visiting the place I was born. I have started re-visiting over the last few years.

THE BEACH SOUTH SHIELDS

 

Overall in 2014 & 2015,  I went out on a good selection of walks and trips. Next Month is my final Best of series covering the years 2016-2017

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jun
2017

I can’t explain my feet turns five!

I can‘t explain my feet  2012- 2017

I can’t explain my feet was created & designed by myself in July 2012. To celebrate I will select some favourites throughout the summer months.I hope you have enjoyed reading them as much as I have enjoyed writing, learning, and getting out and about walking. Just select date from archives on right hand side bar.

2012

July 2012  Shoes and Boots My first ever blog.

August 2012  The Charlston Farmhouse Experience ( my first experience with a walking group)

September 2012 Rye- Hastings (my favourite walk)

October 2012 Thinking about walking thinking about writing. Newcastle, Seaford/Glynde. Black n White pics.

December 2012 London life/Music Machine (music is never far away from my thoughts)

 

1979 you could smoke on tube- All night!!

Looking back & Looking forward

I know when I first started this blog I was very excited. As I progressed and learnt about using Word Press, I joined a Word Press meet up group them formed a meet up group, I learned about different host providers, & about all the aspects of publishing on-line. It has since become a part of my life. Finding a walk, going out taking pictures- then writing about it & publishing it.

Any feedback is appreciated.  At the moment though I need to get off the treadmill, take a step back and see what’s next.  Continue reading

Jul
2014

Photography in posts

 Photography in Posts

 

A gate in village St Cirq Lapopie

A gate in village
St Cirq Lapopie

Theres’ no doubt about it, a few nice photos in a blog sets the scene.

But- How much do pictures make the blog?  How much of a photographer do I need to be? Everybody these days is a photographer, and after a conversation in my half hour lunch break with a work colleague,I failed to convey any real sense about why I continue to use film instead of digital. Still, even after getting my film developed I have to decide on maybe 3- 5 pictures to publish in any given blog. Photography is now a big part of my blog, I feel when I go on a proper walk I need to take some pictures.

As always summer in Brixton is a joy to behold !!!  Sitting at my desk trying to be productive; the sound of SIRENS going past the window every five minutes, cars zooming down the road at top speed, people shouting into their mobile phones or just shouting generally, to themselves or someone else, is my background soundtrack.

I’m still not 100% sure whether I really want to do the 14 mile walk Rye to Hastings. But I’m getting claustrophophic..Neighbours to either side of me, (party last night,) possibly another one tonight!. I think I’m going to have to go on the walk.

There I have talked myself into it again…. I may come back bedraggled with sunstroke but I will give it a go.

My last trip to France was a bit fraught what with the train and taxi strike to contend with . Getting to Cahors from London left me slightly frazzled, ditto coming back, and to top it all the temperature was peaking around 34 celsius on some days. Not my ideal weather by any means. I did not do a lot of walking, far too hot, but there are dedicated walkers  passing through the village of Montcuq every day as part of a pilgrimage they do. It’s a famous walk they do and one year I may even do it. Who knows?

This picture is of a clock in the centre of Cahor. It was an exceedingly hot day and we stopped off here to have a coffee and listen to a soundcheck for a band performing that evening , so it was hot and loud. clock in Cahors

This cobblers had a unique window display of miniature shoes, a picture I did not take, and this is where my question about photography is now really coming into play.cobblers in Cahors

Having a film restricts the amount of photos you can take, the time, & cost of film development. I like the process admittedly, as I don’t know exactly what I’m going to get, but I’m going to try an old digital camera that has been given to me and see how I get on with that. I have used digital before and can’t say I got totally into it and the camera conked out pretty quickly..

 

name of river?

The river lot runs through Cahor and onward down towards an area we visited for a picnic by the river and  to visit a historic village called Saint-Cirq-Lapopie. A photograph is the equivalent to a thousand words. How could you describe everything you have seen on every walk you have gone to? A collection of photos with a few snippets is probably sufficient. Depending whether I have anything significant to say about an area or life in general, a blog can really only say so much.

Back to the UK having had a film developed

Before visiting France I spent a nice weekend in Newcastle and the coast and the weather was perfect. June has to be my favourite month.

Someone sailing away- wish it was me

perfect day in june tynemouth

A perfect day in Tynemouth this photo could be anywhere but it was truly lovely, very relaxing.

port of Tyne june 2014

One of my very favourite sights has to be the bridges over the Tyne, this was taking from the riverside having pub lunch on a Sunday in June.

tyne at nightThe night before walking back from The Cluney having seen The Rezillos this was taken with a camera phone .I’m not sure why I haven’t got into a camera phone at this stage. It was a beautiful evening, there was hardly anyone around as well which was strange. The revellers for some reason don’t make it down to the river!! they stay in town.

Walk from Dover

MOVING to FURTHER ventures with the walking group on the 12th of July, it was warm, but not a clear day. The walk was a circular walk from Dover, we could not see France as it was not clear enough.

A gateway to the Sea at Dover

A gateway to the Sea at Dover

 

White cliffs of Dover

White cliffs of Dover

Wild flowers on cliff top Dover

Wild flowers on cliff top
Dover

Last but not least… I did not expect to see these on my walk……

Very curious creatures, they ran towards us as they were extremly curious

Very curious creatures, they ran towards us as they were extremely curious

Yes walking can be interesting at times, you have to keep on going and you never know what you might come across.

 

Until next time

Best Wishes

Julie

 

Apr
2014

Which way is south?

Two out- of- Towners (Map not included!)

Having joined the ramblers group a few years ago I’m getting the hang of a few things: Being punctual! thinking ahead, booking trains in advance, wearing the right clothes for the right weather, and of course just doing it,when I might not feel like it.

I know that an 8 mile walk is roughly about 4 hours long and that is probably long enough for a saturday, bearing in mind,the extras such as walking to the train station walking about afterwards,back tracking,after taking wrong turns..all clocks it up to about 10 miles.

The mole and I in a joint venture decided the weather was good enough for a walk. I had cut the Walk instructions out of the Magazine sent quarterly from the Ramblers Association. I have only followed a guide once, so wanted to try another,this walk from Lewis to  Saltdean, not  so straightforward as most of it was in fields.

Uhh. which way is South?

 

We found the path eventually , after walking East to a hedge with a stye !

We found the path eventually , after walking East to a hedge….

 

Trying to make head or tail of the instructions while standing in the middle of a field!

It was turn left here, turn right then left at a hedge then over a stile 30 metres from a fence   facing West,etc…then bear south!

 

HOLY COW IN SOUTH DOWNS with two new borns..

HOLY COW IN SOUTH DOWNS with two new borns..

 

Some people like to google everything I prefer to leave it to trial and error and learn the hard way!  Having  recently just ambled along following the leader in the Cotswolds, I was now in charge of my destiny again, well my companion The Mole, as well,who did not take to kindly to the vague directions! I can tell you.

Not much in the village of Iford  apart from a farm and a few houses.I had thought there may perhaps a cafe ! Or a pub for a break. Not so, and further I was anticipating some kind of vineyard or Spanish Cafe towards the end of the walk.!

Now what was that written in  the walk description?

“Ramblers Routes 09

“The plush free eastern face of the Downs  a vineyard and hidden valleys, finishing up with a glass of Rioja and some tapas at the nearest Costa to Lewes”

Not quite sure what that was about.! Still it was 28th of March and we were glad of some fresh air and light.

Moving up- dusty path upwards

Moving up- dusty path upwards

 

A lot of cows ,a lot of sheep and a lot of grass.  At the top of a hill we cross the South Downs Way carrying on with slight ascents and descents and endless seclusion, we pass Breaky bottom Vineyard , but no sign of any cafe/wine tasting sessions that we could see. It got a bit confusing again after this as there wasn’t clear directions as to how to get to the coastal town of Saltdean, but as we head down we can see what looks like Seaford area looking left.We walked and walked until we got down to a football pitch and then came out to a road with some holiday homes. We headed to the main road and jumped on a bus to Brighton.

 

looking back towards Ilford a lot of fields a lot of sheep

looking back towards Ilford a lot of fields a lot of sheep

 

Just as a footnote I would like to mention that I led a group from Brixton to Chelsea on Sunday , it was a nice little group of about 11 and some of them had found out about the walk from a meet up group.I wasn’t aware that my South Bank Group advertised on there ,so it was a nice surprise.

Create Maps or search from 80 million at MapMyFitness
Mar
2014

Stow on the Wold

This gallery contains 12 photos.

 Stow On the Wold Cotswolds  My recent & first ever weekend away with The south Bank rambler group  We took a train from Paddington heading towards Stow on the Wold .It’s not far from Oxford so under 2 hours  to get to Morton on Marsh where we caught a 10 min bus ride to Stow on […]

Feb
2014

Westgate to Margate revisited February 8th 2014

Westgate to Margate circular walk

Approx. 6 miles round walk

I having walked  this many times now, it’s as familiar as a stroll in the park. I still enjoy the Westgate to Margate stroll, as always it is invigorating. Saturday proved to be an ever-changing day. The Sea looked grungy brown but calm & the wind almost blew us to Margate.  Then came the hailstones, the sand was rising from the surface  blowing towards Margate like a desert storm; as suddenly as the hail storms appeared,they then disappeared and blue skies appeared lighting up the Turner Gallery on the horizon.

MARGATE BEACH FEBRUARY

MARGATE BEACH FEBRUARY

 

Always great to see The Contemporary Turner Gallery 

https://www.turnercontemporary.org/ if only to take a break from the wind! There is always something on in there, and the views are great; Like the Tate in St Ives, a modern building, situated on the sea front designed to fit in with the landscape. A great chip shop nearby supplied a generous portion of chips . I shared my remains with the Seagulls; then walked down to the harbour, and visited the micro pub .

The Harbour Arms.

TURNER GALLERY THEN HARBOUR..

TURNER GALLERY -THEN HARBOUR..

 

Micro pub is defined by it being independent of breweries serving local beers and ciders. It is very tiny too and felt a bit like being on a stage set, it is not a pub as such but an old harbour office made into a small space with a bar and a few tables…

There were about 14 people huddled in there if you added another ten it would have been jam-packed! The prices are good too. I had half a raspberry cider and The Mole (my walking partner, and other… !) had a half local beer at! £3 a pint; nice!

RASPBERRY CIDER LOCAL ALE £3.00 A PINT

RASPBERRY CIDER LOCAL ALE £3.00 A PINT

 

Margate moving on?

I can’t help but feel the naughty weekend caption isn’t going to be the crowd puller they are aiming at, I seem to recall Mary Portas did a bit of a campaign to brighten the shopping area which is smart in parts. There are some great shops and cafes the Mole and I, plan to spend a night or two on the coast around Margate at some point this summer, dirty or otherwise.!

Walking back I see the works are still in progress along the seafront, the old  Royal Sea Bathing Hospital was a pioneer hospital in the use of open-air treatment for patients suffering from tubercular complaints. It was founded in 1791 for the poor of London by Dr John Coakley Lettsom, a Quaker physician. It is now being redeveloped into plush apartments.


 Resorts such as Margate had modesty hoods which werecould be let down to allow a woman to enter and leave the water in privacy.
If desired, the woman could also be dipped in privacy under the shelter of the hoodsalted sea water and be helped with cures for TB

I  say it’s a stroll in the park, but it clocks up about 6 miles all in all.

Walking back to Westgate from Margate always seems longer than walking to Margate,especially with the wind in our face as we were  attacked by another batch of hail stones…

We had planned to have another swift half in the micro pub in Westgate but they closed from about 2.30-5pm, so missed out on that. Mole drove back to London in true mole style, with  the low winter sun blinding his eyes, cursing and swearing up the motorway. The rain/sun/hail/rain/sun weather got the better of us and a return home to London for a night in front of the box was welcome.

Well  there is a lot of misery in many parts of the country due to excessive rain. I’m hoping it will calm down soon, as a short w/end in Devon is on cards & got a couple of walks with the South Bank Group penciled in for February and a W/end of it in March.

 

All for now

Julie

 

 

 

 

 

Jan
2014

Arm Chair Traveller

The Arm Chair Traveller

As often I was up in Central London wondering about when I  popped into Waterstones Piccadilly & saw a wide selection of books about walking. One for my list is Ramble on The story or our love for walking Britain by Sinclair McKay; another  possible read ,Will Self’s Walking to Hollywood. I since discovered Walking to Hollywood was not a literal walk, but some kind of intellectual satire which left me baffled after a few pages and most defiantly not amused enough to labour through that.  I attempted but gave up on after a few pages, it is written for a selective audience. Looking for inspiration I had waited a long time for the new Donna Tart Novel.

 

I’m in the depths The Goldfinch (not walking related) which may take some time to finish, but I am enjoying it so I will finish it first before starting anything new.

Inside the cover it has a beautiful cutting printed and pasted, it is a picture of a GoldFinch and sitting on a little bird table and has a very delicate gold chain tied around its ankle.

Donna tarts young character who has somehow acquired this original painting says of it.

When I looked at the painting,I felt the same convergence on a single point: a flickering sun-struck instant that existed now and forever. Only occasionally did I notice the chain on the finch’s ankle, or think what a cruel life for a little living creature fluttering briefly, forced always to land in the same hopeless place”

It kills me that quote and I have to hope that the finch was only chained for the purpose of the painting and was then freed.!  I have mentioned in other posts my hatred of cruelty to animals, and keeping birds in cages. It is akin to being a fit human being kept in a prison unable to leave.

Donna Tartt

Cover for The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch painting has now taking on a new lease of life. See below for more details.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/the-goldfinch-painting-drawing-crowds-since-donna-tartt-book-release/

Lets all try to spread our wings in 2014 and not be chained to convention.

 

 

KEEPING ON WALKING

At present I’m having a break from  the canvassing work for Westminster Council and I am planning on researching some new walks. As always I will be taking some pics on my last two weeks  around Belgravia and posting them.

I am awaiting news from a rambling friend out in Croatia at present. She made a lucky escape from the Storms and chaos of Christmas.

Hopefully she can inspire me with her tales when she returns! I have never been on a walking holiday as such, but it’s something I would like to do.

Best Wishes and Happy New Year 2014

 

Julie

Secluded in the mews. Winter sun in Belgravia

 

 

 

 

Nov
2013

Wild

The Wild years

I haven’t been on any significant walks lately but have been walking a lot.

I have got a load of pictures that I am currently sorting out in I photo and will be posting a lot on the 365 project.

I mentioned in the previous blog that I was reading  the story of Cheryl Strayed. In her book Wild she describes herself  asThe woman with the hole in her heart”  A 1100 mile journey on foot from Mexico Border to the Canadian Border alongside California known as the Pacific Crest Trail .

I will be doing a lot of non wild walking next month when I start walking around Victoria and Belgravia, knocking at the doors of the rich & famous, collecting data for the Electoral Register of Westminster Council. I’m also working on a piece of writing for The Ramblers Organisation which should feature as a guest blog on their site.

AFTER THE RAIN comes the sun.

SUN COMING THROUGH CLOUD

 

A different type of Wild

I feel like my wild years are behind me now but there is still something of the rebel in me that wants to steer off into the wilderness. My wild years were pretty much from about aged 16  -29, (although I think once a rebel always a rebel) running to London where I was obsessed with music and lived in people’s spare rooms/working and living in hotels as a Chamber Maid and Waitress then ‘progressing’ to squats spending most of my time out at Gigs and playing the bass trying to get a band together.

There was an innocence to it all and I remember giving up a  job in the library to go to New York for a month in the hope that I would find a new life over there.

When there I advertised my plane ticket for sale in the hope of having enough money to go to L.A but it was not to be.   I took a volunteer job in New Jersey in a campsite for abused children ran by what I considered at the time to be Religious Weirdos.

I just found the whole thing scary, it was not really something that I was anywhere near prepared to deal with. I had to get out of there and go back to NYC .

I met loads of people and had a great time it had such a powerful feeling of impermanence about it.The only thing to do was to keep on moving. When back at my London squat I put an ad in The Melody Maker (no longer in print)& formed a band which lasted all of 3 months then I decided to do a degree as a mature student. Another story altogether.

The thing is though, even now when I read Cheryl Strayed’s story I can’t help feeling envious of her out in the Wild . I wouldn’t want to live my wild days again. (as if!!)  But-it seems to me that I am running to stand still these days. I’ve been working 10 years in the same job and am no better off as the cost of living has gone up so much but the pay hasn’t. It’s difficult to know what course of action to take. What sort of changes to make.

Some people may think I should be grateful to have a job (I am) but somewhere a long the line I like to think there will be some adventures again.

Well that’s about it from me . Happy October, and keep on walking.

Had a good 5 mile walk today from Brixton to Chelsea.

I may well lead some London walks next year, lets see how it goes. Will keep you posted.

 

Next episode coming soon.